“What the Tory leadership contest has been lacking so far is a good sex scandal,” opines top political spin doctor Hugo Up d’Arse. “That’s why the whole thing has been so lacklustre – without a bit of sensationalism, people just lose interest in politics. I mean, this contest has been so dull that, for a while, desperate for any kind of stimulation, people even started to think that Rory Stewart might be interesting. But as it turned out, he was just weird and creepy.” Up D’Arse does concede that some of the candidates did attempt to inject a degree of excitement into the early stages of the contest, but feels that their focus on drug taking was ill advised. “Only lefties can get away with admissions of youthful drug-taking – it’s like some kind of initiation thing for them: they and their supporters see it as being ‘character building’,” he explains. “But it just doesn’t work for conservatives. Sure, I can see what they were trying to do, with the candidates all trying to outdo each other for the ‘edgiest’ youthful drug exploits. Trying to make themselves look like they were ‘down with kids’ and really radical, rather than being a bunch of middle aged, middle class reactionaries. But it instead ended up making them look like a bunch of hypocrites, rather than the slightly roguish ‘characters’ they were hoping for.”

The spin doctor maintains that a sex scandal, rather than a drugs scandal, handled the right way, can often be beneficial to candidate. “Just ask Bill Clinton,” he muses. “Of course, when I say ‘sex scandal’, I obviously don’t mean anything involving the police being called because of an argument so loud that it frightens and disturbs the neighbours. That simply results in the press being able to cast the candidate involved as some kind of potentially violent abuser. No, a good sex scandal, properly handled by the publicists, can enhance the candidate’s standing in certain demographics. Male ones mainly.” And when it comes to Tory leadership elections, that’s the demographic that most counts: the middle aged, middle class white males who make up the bulk of the party’s meagre membership. “A well staged affair between a male candidate, (obviously), and a younger attractive woman, can effectively allow all those male Tory party members to indulge their own middle aged fantasies of getting off with some ‘fit bird’ half their age,” says Up D’Arse. ” ‘If some dishevelled fat git like him can still get his end away, so can I,’ they think. ‘He’s got my vote.’ Or perhaps they muse: ‘Well, he’s still got lead in his pencil, eh! Good for him to still be able to stick it some young bint three times a night. If he can stick it to her, he can stick it to the EU. He’s got my vote!’”

Of course, Up D’Arse concedes, the revelation of a candidate’s continued sexual prowess via a well staged affair will also appeal to even less noble sentiments among Tory members. “’Well, at we know he isn’t queer’, some will undoubtedly say, or “I just thank God he isn’t shagging blokes” – in either case, he’ll get their votes,” admits the spin doctor. “There’s also always the chance that you might be able to get some of those female Tory voters on side, too, with a few well placed quotes from the ‘crumpet’ in the affair in a ‘kiss and tell’ story carefully released to selected tabloids. You know the sort of thing – ‘He satisfied me four times a night, seven days a week’, or ‘There was no deficit in his endowment’, or maybe even ‘After our nights of passion, I have no fears about him pulling out of Brexit’. That’s the sort of thing that could get the blue rinse brigade swooning. It doesn’t matter if it makes any sense, as long as it sounds vaguely like some kind of witty political word play.”

Obviously, Up D’Arse emphasises, any staged affair has to be well thought out – the age difference between candidate and girl, for instance, has to be carefully managed: if it is too great, there is a danger he will simply come over as a ‘dirty old man’ or, worse, a ‘cradle snatcher’. “You’d also have to consider things like how ugly the candidate is and pair him with a girl who isn’t so beautiful that the whole idea of mutual attraction is utterly unfeasible,” he says. “You’d never believe that someone who looks like Michael Gove, for instance, could possibly pull an attractive and intelligent younger woman. I mean, just look at his wife.” He also counsels against the temptation to over-sensationalise any stage managed affair just for the sake of quick tabloid headlines. “It’s important that you make out sure that there’s nothing kinky about it – headlines along the lines of ‘My five in a bed drug fuelled gang bang with minister’ would just be counter productive,” he says. “That’s the sort of thing to alienate the majority of the Tory membership, who are strictly once-a-week-in-the-missionary-position-with-the-lights-off types. That said, I suspect that hints of whippings and black leather might play well with certain sections of the Tory membership. Some of the retired Colonels and certainly a significant proportion of former cabinet members have an interest in that sort of thing – but not enough to swing any leadership vote.”

Up D’Arse, however, believes that the sex scandal boat has well and truly sailed for the current Tory leadership contest, arguing that it is now far too late for either of the two remaining candidates to launch such a strategy. He contends that of the two candidates left, nobody would believe Jeremy Hunt of being capable of an affair and that no sane person would surely even want to think about the possibility of Boris Johnson getting naked and jiggy with it. “One is just too boring and the other too sexually repulsive,” he says. “I mean, could you imagine how horrible any ‘leaked’ sex tape involving Johnson would be? Those great fat buttocks wobbling away and all that grunting as he gets down to it? It just doesn’t bear thinking about!” In fact, Up D’Arse claims that, prior to the contest, the Tory party commissioned his public relations company to conduct a survey amongst the public to ascertain possible reactions to the release of sex tapes involving various potential candidates. “The results clearly showed that while the majority of viewers would be physically sick at the sight of a naked Boris Johnson banging some poor woman, a significant minority would gouge their eyes out,” he sighs. “Two recipients said that they were tempted contemplate suicide simply by imagining such a thing.”